Former Viking hoop standout Tyler Amaya, who has played professionally in nine countries, is returning to Western Washington University as a graduate assistant coach for the men’s basketball program. Making that announcement on Fri., Sept. 4, was head coach Tony Dominguez.
In 2014, Amaya was head coach of the Bellingham Slam, a professional team that played in the International Basketball League. He served as the team’s assistant coach in 2013, becoming the first person to win IBL championships as both a player and coach.
Amaya played professionally in Bahrain, China, Germany, Holland, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Taiwan and Tunisia. During that stretch, he competed for the Slam in parts of four seasons, being named co-MVP of the 2008 IBL title game.
Amaya also was an assistant coach for two seasons at Skagit Valley College, the Cardinals placing fourth at the NWAC Tournament in 2014.
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The 33-year-old Amaya will be working on his teacher’s certificate at WWU. He earned a bachelor’s degree at WWU in 2009.
Amaya received Great Northwest Athletic Conference all-star honorable mention as a senior at WWU on a 2005-06 team that reached the final of the NCAA Division II West Regional. He was the GNAC Newcomer of the Year as a junior on a Viking squad that got to the regional semifinals.
Amaya also played one year each at Dixie State (Utah) and at NCAA Division I Gonzaga.
A graduate of Mount Vernon High School, Amaya was MVP at the 2001 Class 3A state tournament as a senior, leading the Bulldogs to a perfect 27-0 record and the state championship. As a junior, he played on a team that reached the state title contest before losing by two points.